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OrCam Read makes all texts accessible to dyslexics

OrCam

OrCam has released a special stand-alone device that can read printed text per page; an ideal tool (and specially developed) for dyslexics.

Admittedly, the Orcam Read has nothing to do with high-end audio. But it does produce audio. And because our fingers started itching after reading the press release, we are going to write an article about it. Just like we sometimes write about other audio related technical issues. Not a regular feature, only an exception when it concerns something very special. And the OrCam Read is definitely that.

Less than a decade ago, something like this was pure science fiction. The Read is the first handheld, stand-alone device that allows people with reading difficulties, such as dyslexia, to independently read longer pieces of text. The device converts printed text into spoken text in real-time and thus offers people with reading difficulties access to written information. Using headphones or a Bluetooth device, users can listen to texts and read along with the audio playback.

Stand alone

The OrCam Read is a stand alone device and therefore does not require an app on a smartphone or an internet connection to support the user. All information selected by the reader using the corresponding pointing pen is processed on the device itself and then integrally converted to spoken text. Because the focus is on information processing and making information accessible, the device gives the pleasure of reading back to individuals with reading difficulties, the manufacturer reports. In addition, research in the U.S. shows that reading ability among schoolchildren with dyslexia improves by 15% after using the OrCam Read over a 10-week period.

Page in one go

A major advantage of the OrCam Read over other aids for dyslexics is that the OrCam Read can read an entire page at once. Other solutions work line by line, while it often proves difficult enough for dyslexics to select the correct line. With OrCam Read, the user only has to briefly scan the page, after which the reading starts automatically.

The Read system is particularly useful for textbooks: the pointer enables a broad but very accurate selection of text, so that text frames, which are frequently used in teaching materials, can also be selected and read aloud without any problems.

Reading ability improved by 15% in 10 weeks

Research in the US by Therapy and Education Connections PLLC has shown that the reading ability of dyslexics improved significantly thanks to the use of the OrCam Read. After a period of 10 weeks, students scored on average 15% higher in the Gray Oral Reading Test 5th edition (GORT-5), the reading test that is the standard in the US.

Moreover, thanks to the OrCam Read, they were able to independently read longer pieces of text, something that was previously almost impossible. This independence can be of great value especially in these times. The Staat van het Onderwijs (State of Education) research report recently revealed that corona has caused greater disadvantages in language skills among students. For pupils with dyslexia, this will be even more true because they have missed out on guidance at school.

MyEye

The technology in the OrCam Read was previously used successfully in the OrCam MyEye, a device that allows the visually impaired and blind to access written texts and even recognize objects and faces. The OrCam Read will be sold in the Netherlands via Babbage, an organization specializing in making information accessible through the use of technology. The OrCam Read is available immediately.

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